By Sara Messenger of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group.
Our annual hedgelaying went well with us running out of hard hats for the first time. However, this year, we did manage to lay 38 paces of new hedgeline reaching as far as the gate onto Bradley Stoke Way. Not all of last year’s hedge is thriving, so we have also planted a few more hedging trees alongside the thinner patches.
We were delighted to welcome a few new volunteers, the youngest, being 5, considerably reduced the average age of our volunteers! Although we thought it best not to let her loose with a bill hook, Tiegan, along with her dad proved very capable at dead hedging and before they headed off for lunch, Tiegan planted also two hazel trees for us too.
Green Gym had cleared the hedging area for the Saturday group, but this year we also went back to finish the planting and do a little hedgelaying of our own. Not that we’re boasting, but over two weeks we managed 68 paces! Much of this was re-establishing an old hedgeline but was, we think, still pretty good going!
Planting seems to have been Green Gym’s theme recently; we have also re-established the hedgeline along the school path (near the skate park) and created another down by the now-repaired bridge. We have planted another 60+ rowans around the ‘new’ orchard to supplement the ones bought by Bradley Stoke Town Council and have also put in two walnuts donated by local residents. The Edgely family have also donated a horse chestnut which one of the girls grew from a seed and, as no good deed goes unpunished, we dragged them out on a cold Saturday morning for them to plant it themselves. It is a welcome addition to our stock as it is thought most of our conker trees may in just 30 years time be lost to a mite.
We do seem to be losing some of our bigger trees at the moment and not just in high winds. Although it will take many years for these new trees to replace them, it is at least a step in the right direction and we are very grateful to The Woodland Trust, CGI and The Carbon Footprint company for donating such a large number of trees to Bradley Stoke.
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Photos – Top & middle: Hedglaying weekend. Above: The Edgely family plant their sapling.
This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 16 & 17). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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